APEF’s overall objective is to spread the concept of making leaf concentrate (LC) together with self-sufficiency on a local scale to help ensure that the needs of all malnourished populations are met.
Since 1994, APEF has been distributing LC made from alfalfa in France by France-Luzerne, an agricultural cooperative. Initially we concentrated on this approach to establish the nutritional value and acceptability of the LC. While the French LC is still very important and essential in some circumstances (see below), since 2014 we have re-focused our efforts towards in-country production using local plants.
Leaf concentrate can be made at various different scales:
Using a simple method put together by SOYNICA in NICARAGUA, with green leaves from legumes or local plants and even shrubs or bushes, the process is adapted to the needs of a malnourished family in rural areas or for a few individuals. The volume produced is appropriately small. The. CLICK HERE for details. [Link doesn’t work on website at the moment]
Village and regional scale
Leaf for Life (USA) has developed machinery and a process for production in a village or group of villages. At a regional level, semi-industrial units close to fertile, irrigated land can provide an abundant source of LC. In both the village and regional scale models, the value of LC by-product – the fibrous residue – must be realised to make the process sustainable, for example by feeding it to cattle for milk or meat.
Industrial production in France
The LC produced in France is essential in certain circumstances:
- where the agriculture is unsuitable – land quality, climate, availability of water etc.; in towns; conditions of political instability or poor economic environment; and, above all, in places where millions of individuals are suffering now from malnutrition and cannot be rescued quickly without production and help from abroad.
- To launch initial feeding programmes in regions where indigenous production may be possible, prior to the installation of local equipment.
- In programmes of food aid mixed with ready-to-use foods. LC corrects, at low cost, the nutritional deficiencies of cereals, legumes, roots and tubers either available locally or imported.